Sunday, October 08, 2006

The pitfalls of beta testing...

Sometimes, when beta testing, one finds out that a game they had high hopes for is too close to release, with far too many issues, that they begin to slowly erase it off their "must buy" list. It doesn't mean they give up on testing or providing feedback, but its the one time that the dreaded word "delay" appears next to the title. All, in the vain hope that the development team has an idea of how to make a better end product.

Even worse, this particular game has the potential to turn this market upside down and shake out the cobwebs.

Update: 25 Apr, 2009 - Edited post and labels.


  1. hint? :D

    The only Beta I'm worried for is Pirates of the Burning Sea. Small company, great looking, great designed game. Just hope it works. But they've delayed 9 months to add avatar combat, which was a mature and good decision.

  2. Now you have me wondering what beta, hehe. The ones I'm in are at a very early stage so there is still time to catch important stuff. If this one is as far along as you say, it may be wise to wait for a few months after launch to get the best experience

  3. Well I wish I could say more, but I want to see where the developers take it. Pretty good group of guys... just some rotten apples in the testing pool that sort of permeate a bad smell.

    This was more a blanket statement to many games I've beta tested. You go in and you try to help, but unless you see a delay the game just isn't going to cut it.

    My heart was broken with Star Wars Galaxies. My wrists were slit by Shadowbane.

    But then there is the few, the proud, the World of Warcraft type betas. Not to be a WoW fanboi, but sometimes you can sit back and go "Here is a complete game ready for me to test." Then you find yourself having fun and squashing bugs all along.

  4. Anonymous6:09 PM

    I'd been having a lot of fun in the MMO beta I've been testing--up until the game shifted gears. It's subtle, and I should have seen it five or six levels ago, but it was so well hidden I didn't notice.

    The game went from being designed around solo content and heavy questing in a small area (leading to lots of opportunities for multi-questing) to one with a smaller number of quests, group oriented (although no one has learned to group in this game--ten or 15 levels of soloing discouraged that), and long distances to travel to fulfill typical "kill x mobs" quests.

    I've been talking to my wife and we both know why it bored us as we got around level 20: the game just got stretched out or slowed down (hence, a different gear) rather than changed in focus.

    I've got suggestions for the developers, but to implement them would mean adding new content types (late to the game, so to speak) and retuning hundreds of quests.

    Still, the game is at least as good as DAOC at release. That's something.


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